Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker
Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker (Opal01) by FirstBuild is a compact standalone type countertop style machine with an elegant design in stainless steel with the black accents. People love nugget ice or the sonic ice and the Opal Ice Maker is built just for that with a decent capacity of roughly one pound of ice within an hour.
When you first plug it in and start using it, the first nugget ice will be produced within 15 minutes or so. Opal Nugget Ice Maker weighs 44 pounds and with the dimensions of 15.5D x 10.5W x 17.2H inches it is pretty compact and you need about three inches of clearance on the sides and the rear for the airflow. There is a six cup water reservoir underneath the ice storage bucket with a 3 lb. ice holding capacity = 6 cups converted into ice. The total daily ice production capacity of this powerful nugget ice maker is 24 pounds.
The ice nuggets it makes are soft yet crunchy, like those at the bars or restaurants. You can download the FirstBuild app on your smartphone and use its Bluetooth feature, set up a schedule for your ice production, conveniently from your phone. The system will detect when the ice bucket is full and there won’t be any overfilling. There is no water line or plumbing required for this model as you simply plug it into a standard grounded power outlet and fill the water reservoir with the good quality potable water with less than or equal to 12 gpg (205 ppm) mineral hardness level.
The ice nuggets its produces will melt after a little bit and be turned into more ice in the following batch. So nothing is wasted as the melted water is cycled back up. The ideal ambient operating temperature for this ice maker is between 55 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The transparent door is made of solid plastic. You’ll get the ice bin, a small black ice scoop, the drip tray to catch any water, instructions manual with warranty as well as the Opal Ice Maker. The soft and crunchy ice nuggets look like the small snowballs that float in your glass of beverage. And that’s what a lot of people prefer and see as the good quality ice.
The commercial grade nugget ice makers are often very expensive and can sometimes cost a few thousands. So this countertop unit by Opal is a much more affordable way of getting your nugget or Sonic ice. The way it works is It freezes the aluminum drum and scrapes the flakes out of it and pushes the flakes through the cylinder. And these flakes are squeezed and turned into these ice nuggets. What you get out of this process is 50% of water and 50% air, chewable, soft and crunchy and tasty ice nuggets that absorb whatever drink you pour into them. They will chill your drink very fast as they are small and penetrable with a larger surface area.
The bottom of the ice basket will be wet with the water pouring down the top during the ice production. And when you pull it out the drip tray will catch it. You can purchase the Opal water filter with a three monthly life span, that you fit into the reservoir and costs about 20 dollars. The ice nuggets it makes are quite small and will fit into anything. You can pull out the ice tray that will fall forward conveniently and you may use the scoop to get some ice. There is also the side reservoir you can get for making three times more ice before you need to refill the main tank with water. You can do the routine maintenance of the external and internal scale with the cleaning kit specially designed for the Opal Ice Maker.
Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker is very easy to use with just the press of a button and does the job quickly and efficiently. If you want to get the best results- soft, chewable and crunchy Sonic ice, you need to use the good quality distilled, fresh or bottled water. The ice it makes will melt as there is no refrigeration in the ice storage but melts very slowly, like you’ll only lose a quarter of the whole thing overnight. The melting speed will also depend on the ambient temperature. You need to keep the plastic front lip on all the time and make sure the water doesn’t run underneath. Otherwise it will be harder to clean this unit. Tap water will work but the ice will be harder- not as chewable and you may experience scaling/calcification. And you will have to clean the machine more often. It doesn’t run very quietly and you’ll hear a bit of noise because of the power and efficiency it offers. But it is very much worth the price it costs- is very good value for money. It comes with a limited warranty for parts and labor by the FirstBuild, if you buy it from them or the authorized sellers.